The College of Arts and Humanities at Fresno State is the largest college on campus, encompassing nine departments, and the Armenian Studies Program.

Each year, new faculty are brought on to elevate the academic offerings here at Fresno State. These new faculty members bring innovative research, diverse fields of study and technical expertise to our college, inspiring new ways of thinking throughout our many disciplines.

Over the next few weeks, we will introduce you to these new faces, by department.

Department of Art and Design

Matthew Hopson Walker
Matthew Hopson-Walker joins the department of Art and Design as an assistant professor of printmaking.

In 2002 Hopson-Walker completed his MA followed by his MFA in 2003, both from the University of Iowa. In 2006 he was recipient of the prestigious James D. Phelan Award in Printmaking given by the San Francisco Foundation and administered by the KALA Institute. He has been included in 222 juried or group exhibitions and 14 solo shows since 2006. His work is in the collections of the Franklin Furnace Artist Book Collection at the Museum Of Modern Art in New York, the University of North Dakota Art Collections in Grand Forks North Dakota, the Amity Art Foundation in Woodbridge Connecticut, the Stonehouse Residency for the Contemporary Arts in Miramonte California, the Drawing and Print Collection at The University of Iowa Museum Of Art, and the Tama Art University Museum in Tokyo Japan. Hopson-Walker has twice been invited to be an instructor at the nationally renowned Frogman’s Print and Paper Summer Workshop, first in Vermillion South Dakota and then Omaha Nebraska in the summer of 2017. He also served as a visiting artist and lecturer at Colorado Mesa University, Heron School of Art and Design, University of Texas Permian Basin, Northern Illinois

University, Murray State University, Emporia State University, University of Alabama, University of South Indiana, Youngstown State University, Muhlenberg College, Kutztown University, Westminster College, South East Missouri State University, Oregon State University, University of North Carolina-Pembroke, Arizona State University, Middle Tennessee State University, and California State University-Chico. He provides demonstrations involving his knowledge of screen printing, lithography, intaglio, and prints that combine more than one technique.

Born and raised in Fresno California, Hopson-Walker (former owner of a very large rabbit) grew up reading comic books and dystopian science fiction novels. During a formative age, he was exposed to movies such as Mad Max, Total Recall, Escape From New York, Blade Runner, and The Omega Man and many themes with in them show up in his work.

After working as a janitor for several years, he matriculated to the Kansas City Art Institute and received his BFA in Printmaking in 1998. After graduating, he and a friend opened their own gallery and screen printing business. To support himself and his heavy metal bass playing “career” he worked as a print technician at his alma mater, did construction, bounced and bussed at various bars, delivered mail and cashiered at liquor stores.These jobs influenced his general misanthropic outlook on humanity and the images he made as an artist.

Q&A

Questions:

Question: What are you most looking forward to here at Fresno State?

Answer: I love the diversity of the student body. I grew up in Fresno so this is a return to home for me and I feel a connection with the students.

Q: Can you tell us how you became involved in your specialty area?

A: I went to college wanting to be an animator or illustrator. After seeing a presentation about Printmaking as a Freshman I found it a medium that visually fit the kind of images I wanted to make and was a natural extension of how my hand naturally draws. Since then it’s long history of political commentary and storytelling have kept me engaged.

Q: Who has inspired you the most in your field?

A: The professors in my freshmen courses laid a good foundation for me to build upon and then the Printmaking faculty I worked with in undergrad really pushed me to develop and improve as a person and artist. Printmakers like Michael Barnes and Kurt Kemp inspire me as a printmaker but its my students who really inspire me to continue growing as an artist.

Q: What will your distinctive background do to elevate the Art and Design Department offerings here at Fresno State?

A: I taught printmaking at Fresno State as a part-time lecturer from 2007-2015 and I was heavily involved with the student club Print and Glory during that time. I think that’s left me prepared to step into teaching my classes this year as well as actively engage students in extracurricular scholarship. The last three years I’ve been an assistant professor at the University of South Alabama (USA). While there I served as Foundations Coordinator and helped build a new MFA program. After which I served as Graduate Coordinator and actively recruited students nationally to build a diverse and interesting group of Graduate Students. I think the last three years at USA have prepared me to be a contributing member of the department and college. I plan to update the Printmaking area’s curriculum and structure to reflect how the medium had changed over the last 30 years..

Q: What sort of thing are you doing to prepare?

A: Lots of paperwork and updating of syllabi and handouts.

Q: What’s a fun fact that people might not know about you?

A: My two main interests outside of teaching, parenting and art making are music and comic books. I played bass guitar in several noisy bands for about 12 years before I decided to focus on my teaching and studio practice. I love talking about music of all styles. I love reading classic and contemporary comic books for their varying art styles and narrative approaches.

Q: When are your office hours?

A: M-W 11:45 – 1:00. My temporary office is 555 Peters building but I can usually be found in the Printmaking lab Conley Arts 160.

Q: Anything else you’d like to share?

A: I’ve been really happy about my interactions with students, colleagues, and staff. I count myself lucky to have such great peers and students. I’m looking forward to working with them.

wannsarn-noonsuk

Dr. Wannsarn Noonsuk (Saam) joins the department of Art and Design as an Asian Art History professor, coming to Fresno State from Walailak University in Thailand.

After earning a BA in Archaeology from Silpakorn University with first-class honors in 2002, His Majesty the late King of Thailand awarded Noonsuk with a scholarship for his graduate studies in the U.S.  He received his MA in Anthropology from the University of Hawai’i and a PhD in History of Art and Archaeology from Cornell University in 2012. He was also awarded post-doctoral studies at the École Française d’Extrême-Orient (EFEO) in Paris, under the auspices of the French Government.

Prior to joining Fresno State, Noonsuk was a tenured lecturer in the PhD Program in Asian Studies and was the Head of the Archaeology Research Unit at Walailak University, Thailand, and the Senior Specialist at the Southeast Asian Ministers of Education Organization Regional Centre for Archaeology and Fine Arts (SEAMEO SPAFA). He has also had fieldwork experiences in several parts of the world, including Thailand, Cambodia, Indonesia, Turkey, and Arizona.

Noonsuk is widely published in English and Thai.  In addition to editing several volumes, he has published a series of books, book chapters, and articles, mostly related to art and archaeology of Peninsular Thailand and Maritime Southeast Asia, including articles within Asian Perspectives and the Bulletin of the EFEO, the latter of which was the first contribution by a Thai scholar to the century-old prestigious French journal.

Walailak University: https://www.wu.ac.th/en

SEAMEO SPAFA: http://www.seameo-spafa.org/

Q&A

Question: What are you most looking forward to here at Fresno State

Answer: I am looking forward to sharing what I have learned and experienced in my studies with the students here at Fresno State.  I plan to do that both inside and outside of classrooms. I would like my students to open up their minds to learning something new about different parts of the world, especially Asia which is my research focus.  I also look forward to collaborate with my colleagues at Fresno State and beyond, such as the Asian American Studies and the Center of Southeast Asian Studies, to enhance the educational qualities for our students together.  I believe that the interdisciplinary approach in education and the inter-college collaboration will increase university’s abilities to serve our students and our communities.

Q: Can you tell us how you became involved in your specialty area?

A: My late father was a professor who dedicated his life to the studies of history, art history, and archaeology of Southeast Asia. He also went to Cornell. I was inspired by him tremendously, so I followed him when he did his fieldwork since I was a little boy.  Later on, I decided to study art history and archaeology and focused my research on Peninsular Thailand where I was born as well as expanded my scope to maritime Asia, where cultural connectivities through trade and religions have been striking.   

Q: What will your distinctive background do to elevate the Art and Design Department offerings here at Fresno State?

A: Now the Department of Art and Design has a newly approved BA Program in Art History, and I am assigned to develop courses in Asian Art.  I am impressed with the Department’s vision to include Asia in their curriculum. Asia has been important in the World History and its arts are very diverse. As someone who was born and raised in Asia, I believe that I can make students see the cultural diversity in Asian art practices from different places and times. In order to understand arts, we must understand their makers and users in the original contexts as well.  Thus, my background in Archaeology and Anthropology will add to the rich expertise and disciplinary diversity of the Department’s faculty and will also help me explain to the students the geographical and socio-cultural contexts of such artworks from past to present.

Q: What sort of thing are you doing to prepare?

A: To prepare for my classes, I read a variety of materials and try to think of good examples to clarify my points when teaching.  My past experiences and graduate studies are helpful but I try to read new things and to visit actual cultural sites to keep myself updated all the time in order to share what I learned with my students.   

Q: Who has inspired you the most in your field?

A: My father and my former professors at Cornell, especially Stanley O’Connor. Their studies were groundbreaking.  They taught me not be afraid to be wrong and to always try to be exploratory in my works.

Q: What’s a fun fact that people might not know about you?

A: I used to be a Buddhist monk!  It is the old Thai tradition that a man should be a monk once in their lifetime to continue Buddhism and more importantly to do this as the greatest merit to his mother.  

Q: When are your office hours?

A: Tuesdays 9:30-11:30 AM & 3:45-6:15 PM

Thursdays 9:30-11:30 AM

Or by appointments

Q: Anything else you’d like to share?

A: ☺ smiles